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Corrections Through Labour: A Russian Reintegration Programme

A new kind of production is mastered in Birobidzhan’s juvenile colony. The facility produces PVC windows. The young offenders work in their spare time under the guidance of specialists, so they acquire skills that could be useful for them after release.

This production fulfills internal needs. According to the signed contracts, the new windows will be sent to the penal colony No.10, and the Medical Correctional Institution No.2 of this region. These windows will be installed within these institutions, in the administrative buildings, cafeteria, the dormitory for the prisoners, and the tuberculosis housing. A large part of the order is already executed.

Acting Head of Birobidzhan, Stanislav Kirillov commented that ‘The plan for the development of the production sector in the Birobidzhan’s juvenile colony is designated to the manufacturing of furniture. In addition, further improvements will be made with the creation of a printing press facility on the spare spaces within the establishment. Convicted juveniles are employed on the basis of a written application, upon their request. It should be noted that the labour activity is beneficial for their education, creating a sense of responsibility in the teenagers, discipline, mutual assistance’

Some of the tools for the re-socialization of the convicts that facilitate their return to the community and to a normal life, are the labour and the employment training. They provide the offenders with occupations in high demand. The inmates pass the practice while serving their sentence. Thus, they gain labour skills and consolidate the acquired knowledge. In addition, when the inmate is engaged with work, time passes quicker, and the person does not feel overwhelmed by feelings of meaninglessness and emptiness.

In prisons, there are often people who do not have even a basic education. Many of them are from disadvantaged families, unable to work and earn a living. Professional educational organizations of the Russian Federal Penal Service provide training for more than 200 professions. Inmates without profession get priority access to a vocational training. After the graduation, those convicts who successfully pass the final certification, are employed in the production facilities within the correctional establishments, in accordance with their qualifications.

The Russian Federal Penal Service monitors the professions in demand for the correctional institutions and the labor market in the region. Based on the analysis, and on the labor market needs, if there is a demand of a particular profession, adjustments could be made in the curriculum and the study groups.

For the purposes of the social and professional rehabilitation of convicts upon their release from prison there is a constant interaction between the Service and the regional Departments of Labor and Employment. There are agreements on cooperation, according to which employment agencies:

  1. Inform the correctional institutions about the situation within the labour market;
  2. Provide lists of trades, professions and type of jobs that are in demand in the labor market;
  3. Provide information about the availability of job vacancies, including information on employment opportunities.

Author: Press Service, FSIN Russia